Which Species Should You Choose For Your Wood Flooring?
Apart from adding beauty and warmth to a room, real wood flooring can greatly increase the worth of a real estate property. Some of the best wood to use for flooring include walnut, oak, maple, bamboo and mahogany and each gives you a different look and option. You can get pre-finished wood floorings that are stained and finished with a coating or alternatively, you can choose the style wood that has the look you are looking for and perhaps finish yourself.Hardwood floors can be installed on various levels of the house and are very flexible to the levels of traffic and treatment that they will receive. Here are some details to help you in choosing which species of wood for your real wood flooring is best.
This timeless classic flooring has a close grain that gives it an even, soft texture. However, it can also appear wavy, striped or curly depending on the wood and it has a white color with a hint of reddish brown tinting. It can produce a color variation when exposed to a lot of sunlight, but if you want to limit this variation you can use a UV protector.
Maple hardwood is a natural eco-friendly choice, providing a warm, inviting ambiance. It also creates a very healthy environment and minimizes the effects of allergies such as dust allergies or those due to pet dander. However, due to its close, pale color and even grain, scratches, marks and stains are very easily noticeable. A matte finish helps to hide marks and scratches however and of course, re-sanding is an option. It can be slightly pricey but will be worth every penny.
Another great flooring type is mahogany. This hardwood has an even, fine straight grain and is usually a reddish-brown color but darkens with time. When polished, it displays a reddish sheen and is relatively free from pockets and voids. It is a hardwood so it is rather difficult to curve but it is excellent for flooring purposes and is extremely durable. It is available from three tropical hardwood species, Honduran, Swietenia humulis and West Indian. The Swietenia humulis is considered the ‘true mahogany’ and is the one that is used for most floorings.
Due to its girth, this hardwood allows for wide cuts therefore excellent for making flooring boards, and other wooden furniture. It is a very popular wood because it is relatively cheap and are very durable. They have a hardness of 2220 pounds using Janka ratings.
This beautiful flooring is a popular alternative to hardwood floors. It has similar properties as most hardwoods, with the added advantage of being very light and easy to shape. It is just as strong and durable, and is resistant to moisture and insects. It is also extremely eco-friendly making it a very green flooring material. The traditional bamboo floorboard hardness ranges from between 1180 and 1380, but newer manufacturing techniques have strengthened it to over 5000 in the Janka hardness test. The hardwoods that have similar properties to bamboo include rock maple, red oak, white oak and Jatoba.
This type of flooring varies due to different manufacturing processes, but can be cut into thin, flat strips of varying lengths that can be varnished, stained or simply used as they are. They are typically available in vertical or horizontal planks and are the probably the easiest to install. Bamboo floors come in a range of colour from blacks to deep coffee or natural light brown or even Tigerwood patterns.
Oak floor boards have dark, close grain lines, and are available in two main variations; white oak and red oak. The red oak has a light pinkish tingle while the white oak shows a browner finish - however the variations that can be obtained from these are stunning. You can enjoy a coffee colour or even a golden oak. They are both excellent choices for giving your floors a traditional-looking floor. It is the most popular wood for flooring and is relatively cheap to install and maintain.
This walnut hardwood is harvested in Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in more recent years. It is a dark brown wood, but of course can be available in darker shades and even black. It is usually available with a factory finish which protects the floor from minor wear and scratches. This wood has a Janka Hardness of about 2200 pounds and has a very uniform color even when exposed to sunlight.
Walnut floor boards are a very strong wood that has it's own distinctive shade and has always been popular. It tends to lighten with age and exposure to sunlight but requires very little maintenance. The only cleaning required is damp mopping, vacuuming or even simply sweeping. While it isn't the cheapest of flooring it is of a high quality and lasts for decades. It gives your floors a rustic old fashioned look and will complement most wall colors.
It is recommended to use the cleaning products that are suggested by the manufacturer for any of your real wood floors. Excessive grit or foot traffic will obviously affect the appearance of your floor, but unlike rugs or carpets, wood floors will not accumulate hidden odorous compounds or hidden soil. They enhance the versatility, style and appearance of your house, and come highly recommended when designing your house. Allow yourself to be tempted!
You can view our full selection of wood flooring by visiting our solid wood flooring page.